Meetings of the Board of Trustees, the Worship Committee, and other groups (including Spirit in Life groups, committee chairs, ad-hoc planning teams, even our Heritage Acres Board) in the first few weeks of January have left me energetic and enthused for 2018. I believe this is going to be a very transformative year for this community we hold dear.
Your lay leaders and professional staff have acknowledged that the ever-evolving entity we call Heritage is growing – perhaps more quickly than we have been able to adjust. Creative short-term solutions have been put in place (see article elsewhere in this newsletter) while bold long-term changes are being discussed. Among those, we seek to add a couple of part-time, but very important, staff positions later in 2018. We recognize we need a staff person who is committed to caring for our building and grounds, as well as someone to focus on the many and varied needs of members, from the moment they first visit, to when they join, to when we honor them for decades-long commitments to our church.
Speaking of which, join me on February 4 as we celebrate the 20-year membership anniversary of five dedicated church members. And speaking of members, don’t look now, but with our winter new member ceremony, Heritage Church adult membership is now up to 172. Even with the occasional member departure, our membership is now consistently in the 170s (not to mention the scores of children and youth who comprise many of our member families).
I am also delighted by the growth in interest in our pioneering end-of-life ministry, and in our green burial initiative, Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. Thanks to incredible generosity during 2017, we are optimistic that 2018 will be the year we acquire land and begin operations for Heritage Acres.
Be on the lookout for some great new adult education opportunities in the coming months. The UUA is working on a new version of “Building Your Own Theology” that we are considering. Meanwhile in March, I will be offering a four-week session called “Believe” that will examine Unitarian Universalist beliefs. Ongoing film series will help us learn to confront racism, and confront fears of our own mortality.
Several fun events will be sprinkled throughout the spring. Have you noticed the return of Dining for Dollars? This is a great way to meet and socialize with others in the church, while supporting “the cause.” And mark your calendars now for the return of March Money Madness (on St. Patrick’s Day), as well as a re-imagined event called the Gala of Benevolent Deities, on April 21. The latter just happens to coincide with my 60th birthday weekend!
Heritage Church: A place to have fun, enjoy community, explore your beliefs and grow your spirit. As my colleague Rev. Leslie often says, “Won’t you join us?”